Bruce and Conner Chargois, a father and son duo who were both given third-degree criminal possession of a weapon charges in late February of last year after the son posted threats to Saugerties High School online, have been sentenced to six months and two years respectively in state prison. Both will be supervised for five years after their release.
“Based on my experience with [Judge Don Williams], Conner will do almost the entire two years,” said Assistant District Attorney Mike Kavanagh of the sentence.
Kavanagh said during both hearings, proceedings needed to be moved to the court’s larger ceremonial building to accommodate the Saugerties locals who came to show their support for the family.
“We told Judge Williams we were looking to send Conner to prison, but we didn’t give him any recommendation in terms of time — we said we would support whatever he thought was appropriate,” explained Kavanagh. “I thought [the sentences] were appropriate. Because of the outpouring of community support, it was an incredibly difficult decision to make. I think [Judge Williams] considered the impact that the crime had — this preyed upon our worst fears as parents. We were fortunate that police uncovered the weapons when they did.”
Police found the arsenal of weapons, including an AR-15 an Uzi, that had been manufactured in the family home, as well as ammunition and two silencers, after Conner glorified the Columbine shooters in an Instagram post just a week after the deadly Parkland, Fla. school shooting. A student reported the posting to a teacher, who brought the matter to school’s administration and the police. After his son was questioned by police, Bruce, 58 transported the weaponry to the Greco Amusement Center, his workplace, and hid them inside of pinball machines.
“[This situation] shows the partnership between the District Attorney’s Office, the community and law enforcement,” said Saugerties Police Chief Joe Sinagra. “When we all work together we obtain resolution and justice in cases for the benefit of our community.”
The Chargoises were arrested on Feb. 27 of last year, and both were out on bail until their plea hearings in December.
According to a press release from the District Attorney’s Office, both sentencing hearings were “emotional.” Conner apologized to the court, his family, his peers and the Saugerties community at his Feb. 8 sentencing for what he called “selfishness.” Bruce also apologized to the community at his Feb. 15 sentencing, and to the students and alumni at Saugerties High, where he and his entire family had been schooled.